The parents of Jathuporn Oun-on hold a framed photo of their daughter as they arrive at Kantharalak court in Si Sa Ket province to hear the ruling on Thursday. The court sentenced former captain Supachai Phaso (inset) to death for the murder of education official Juthaporn Oun-on. (Photo by Sanoh Worarak)
A former army officer known as Capt Neng has been sentenced to death for the murder of senior education official "Director Oi", whose skull was found in a forest area in Ubon Ratchathani after she was reported missing in 2017.
The Kantharalak Provincial Court on Thursday passed the sentence on former captain Supachai Phaso, 30, after finding him guilty of murdering Juthaporn Oun-on.
The court ruled there was firm evidence that Supuchai had abducted and killed the woman, and then dumped her body in a forest, Thai media reported. He was also ordered to pay 2 million baht in compensation to the victim's family.
Juthaporn, then 37, was director of the education division of the Cham tambon administration organisation in Si Sa Ket's Kantharalak district, and was known as "Director Oi''. She went missing on July 3, 2017 after driving her child to a district school. Her skull was later found in a forest in neigbhouring Ubon Ratchathani province's Nam Yuen district.
Supachai, then a captain attached with the 6th Infantry Regiment in Ubon Ratchathani, was arrested and charged by police in October, 2017 after DNA extracted from the skull proved a match with Juthaporn’s.
He faced an army investigation as he was believed to be the last person to have contact with Juthaporn before she disappeared. He was subsequently cashiered from the army and stood trial in the provincial court.
The parents and relatives of the victim were at the court to hear the judgement. The former army captain was escorted to the court amid tight security. He was delivered to the back of the building and immediately taken to the assigned courtroom.
Before the court delivered its ruling, the victim's father Boonlert Oun-on said his family had fought for justice for his daughter. He wanted the defendant to get the death sentence for the brutal murder.
Media reported that Supachai's parents and wife were also present for the judgement. They looked stressed and refused to answer reporters' questions, the reports said.